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Can Egypt's 'Passage' lead to an Oscar?

"The Passage," an Egyptian film on the War of Attrition following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, has received an enthusiastic reception at the box office in Egypt and has raised some eyebrows in its treatment of Egyptian-Israeli relations.

“We will no longer defend, we will attack!” Egyptian Lt. Col. Nour El-Din declares in one of the most compelling scenes in “Al-Mamar” (The Passage), a new movie that takes up the War of Attrition in the aftermath of Egypt's defeat in the 1967 war against Israel. The protagonist Nour El-Din is referring to the change in strategy by the Egyptian army after Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula.

This line can also be considered a reflection of the change in strategy by Egyptian filmmakers taking on Egyptian-Israeli relations after “normalization” between the two countries. Egyptian cineastes have mostly steered clear of the Egypt-Israeli conflict over the Sinai in the last 15 years, ever since“ Youm al-Karama” (Day of Dignity) in 2004. 

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